The POWER of the PRESENT tense

Italian verbsDon’t worry, this is nothing to do with self help, but you might find it interesting that the present is a very important tense in Italian and that it is used very much more than its corresponding English tense. 

Here are some examples of present tenses: vado a scuola (I go to school, I am going to school), sono italiana (I am Italian), domani compro la macchina nuova (tomorrow I will buy a new car, I am buying a new car tomorrow), a Natale mangio il tacchino (at Christmass I will eat turkey). As you can see, while you are using the present continuous or the future, we can use the present in Italian (we could also use the other two tenses, but this is not necessary at all and the sentences I wrote above are perfectly correct). In fact, we can use the present in Italian not only when you would use the present in English, but also when we talk or write about something that is on our ‘agenda’ or something, we are sure, is going to happen. This is why, many of us can say: ‘Mangio il tacchino a Natale’ which literally translated means ‘I eat turkey at Christmas’. This doesn’t mean, like in English, that I always eat turkey at Christmas, but that I already organized or decided it and I know it is going to happen, unless, something terrible happens, but Italians are optimistic people!North Italian traditions

As a teacher, I can say that this is a great opportunity for all the Italian beginners and it shouldn’t be missed. After a few lessons they will be able to use the present tense of many verbs and they will also be able to construct ones they don’t know, yet. Therefore, thanks to this resourceful verb tense, they can start writing plans about their future days, weeks, Christmases, holidays and so on. This will help them build up their vocabulary, consolidate it in long term memory and become more fluent… And they know I will always be happy to check their sentences and give a quick feedback… a present for a present!

North of Italy traditions

 

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